Cuddles the bear
This is an easy cake for a young child's birthday or even a christening, using the inlay technique, which is simple for beginners. The number on the bear's tummy can be altered to the appropriate age.
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- 20 cm (8 inch) round cake
- 500 g (1 lb) marzipan
- 750 g (1½ lb) sugarpaste
- yellow, brown and red paste food colourings
- 1 tablespoon royal icing
- icing sugar
- Brown food colour pen
- 23 cm (9 inch) foil-covered cake board scriber
- narrow red ribbon
Cover the cake with marzipan and leave to dry for 24 hours. Trace the template onto non-stick baking paper, then trim the paper to fit the top of the cake.
Colouring the sugarpaste
Colour 185 g (6 oz) of the sugarpaste yellow. Colour 15 g (½ oz) of the sugarpaste brown and 30 g (1 oz) red. Keep 15 g (½ oz) of the sugarpaste white and set aside. Brush the cake with clear alcohol, leaving an 18 cm (7 inch) wide circle in the centre unbrushed. Roll out the remaining white sugarpaste to 2.5 mm (⅛ inch) thick and cover the cake. Secure the cake to the board with a little royal icing.
Inlaying the teddy outline
Secure the template in position on the cake top with glass-head pins just inside the outline. Use a scriber or a pin just inside the outline to transfer the outline of the teddy to the cake, then remove the tracing. Using a modelling knife or scalpel, cut the teddy shape from the white sugarpaste, cutting just outside the pin marks. Carefully lift the piece of icing from the cake top.
Roll out the yellow sugarpaste to 2.5 mm (⅛ inch) thick. Secure the teddy template over the yellow sugarpaste with pins and prick or scribe the design on the outside edge of the template, then remove the tracing. There will be two lines of marks on the sugarpaste — the holes that have just been made and dents from the previous transfer. Cut the section out, cutting between the two lines of marks. Lift out the section and inlay into the space in the cake top, using your fingers to smooth over the coloured sugarpaste until the two cut edges meet and the small dents disappear.
Inlaying the teddy details
Secure the tracing on the cake top, using the teddy outline to position it accurately. Use a scriber or pin to transfer the details of the tummy, paws, ears, eyes and nose to the teddy, then remove the tracing. Cut out the tummy and inlay with white sugarpaste as before. Cut out the facial features and inlay with brown sugarpaste. Cut out the paws and inlay with brown sugarpaste.
Secure the tracing on the cake top, using the teddy outline to position it accurately. Use the scriber or pin to transfer the bow and number to the cake top. Cut out the number and inlay with red sugarpaste. Cut out the bow and inlay with red sugarpaste.
Lightly dust the cake top with icing sugar and use a smoother to remove any dents. If the sugarpaste appears dry or cracked from the icing sugar, cover with plastic wrap for 2–3 hours until the icing sugar is absorbed. Leave the sugarpaste to dry for 48 hours or until it will not dent when pressed.
Use the brown food colour pen to draw in teddy's mouth. (If you are nervous about drawing freehand, use the template again, scribing the mouth onto the cake first.) Trim the cake board with ribbon, securing with double-sided tape.